THE STORY OF A NON-HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA PATIENT
Microscopic image of Large Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
I'm Carmen, I'm 40, I'm from Murcia and this is my story. Just before I turned 33, I started to feel unwell and after going to and fro from the A & E department I was finally admitted to hospital. There were almost 20 days of waiting and worry until I was eventually diagnosed with large cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at stage 4. It was really hard and I felt quite weak. I already had four organs that were infected with cancerous nodules but I at last knew what I was facing and how to fight it. FIGHT; I had never been so certain and convinced about anything in my life.
Up to now, science is still not as informed as we would like but we can count on a wide variety of things to fight against cancer.
I quickly began chemotherapy treatment and followed the protocol to finish up with a bone marrow transplant. It wasn't a bed of roses but thank goodness, I didn't have serious complications.
Within a few weeks of the autologous transplant I was getting my strength back and had managed to achieve a daily routine at home with my children; 8 year old Juan Antonio and 2 year old Angela. The happiness didn't last for long, as they discovered that the illness had returned again. I think it was even harder than the first time as I started to think that these would be the last days of my life. Another battle to fight..., more treatment and another transplant, with the difference that this one would be ‘allogeneic'. I was fortunate enough to have my big sisters's marrow (she was my donor).
My body had had no rest between transplants and was worn out. However, my desire to live and the unconditional support of my family kept me going and meant that I never for one moment threw in the towel and gave up.
My children were my insurmountable strength, where there could be no loss of hope; but at the same time they were my weak point. It broke my heart to think that I might not see them grow up. This was a possibility, we couldn't kid ourselves.
Thanks be to God (and I thank him every night) for the opportunity to keep on living and with a little luck, to grow old with my husband. I wouldn't want to forget the staff at the ‘Hospital Morales Meseguer' in Murcia for their amazing professionalism and humanity and of course I thank my doctor, Dr Nieto. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!
I hope my account is a positive one for the people who read it, because today I am a woman and a mother full of life and focused on present. These are my plans; to live day by day enjoying my family. Warm regards!"
Help people like Carmen by becoming a member of the cure for leukaemia and haematological malignacies, HERE. You will help us to continue our research so that one day these diseases will be 100% curable. With only a little you can do so much. Thank you!
Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE